Constitutional Court will not intervene on extra-marital and homosexual relationships
by Mathias Hariyadi

The request of an Islamic group was rejected by the Constitutional Court and the request in favor of the marriage between colleagues was accepted. The common practice requires one of the spouses to resign or relocation. Homosexual relationships, judged "illicit" by most of society, not a crime. The approval of human rights activists. 

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The Mahkamah Konstitusi (Mk), or the Indonesian Constitutional Court, has rejected the proposal by a conservative group to criminalize extra-marital and homosexual relations. The court, on the other hand, accepts the legal action brought by eight citizens against the rule, contained in labor regulations, which prohibits marriage between colleagues.

In Indonesia, the common practice requires one of the spouses employed in the same building to resign and relocate to another office for the benefit of the company. "This kind of prohibition violates the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Indonesian Constitution of 1945," says MK president Judge Arief Hidayat.

Despite the increasing extremist pressures in the most populous Islamic country in the world, the decision by the Mk, approved with five votes in favor and four against, against the petition presented by the Family Love Alliance that wanted to make extra-marital affairs offense. Twelve members of the Islamic group, signatories of the request, have asked the Court to formulate a new penal code on extra-marital relationships (including homosexual relationships) to speed up the drafting of a law. Motivating the sentence, judge Saldi Irsa states: "The argument that the process of formulating the law takes a long time cannot be a reason for the Constitutional Court to interfere with the authority of the legislators".

Human rights activists express their approval for the MK decision, which ensures and protects the privacy of every citizen, including their sexual orientation. Sex, both homosexual and heterosexual, is illegal in Indonesia only if it involves a minor. However, the homosexual practice is judged "illicit" by most of the population and is a crime in the province of Aceh, on the island of Sumatra, where sharia is in force. For those guilty of this crime, there is a maximum penalty of 100 vergas. This year, two men who had sexual relations were seized by a group of vigilantes who broke into a local hostel. In May, police arrested a group of men who were organizing a party in two hotel rooms in Surabaya (East Java), Indonesia's second largest city. They are accused of violating the anti-pornography law.